Challenging the Cheap Shot

Published October 27, 2009 by Fat Heffalump

Today has been a cruddy day.  I’ve just been blue all day, and pretty much for reasons completely unknown to me.  Hormones or general depression, whatever it is, I’ve been having a very blah day.

One thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve been particularly annoyed and angered by hate statements today.  Not just fat hate, but a whole bunch of stuff.  Usually I can just go “What-EV-er!” at it, but because I’m feeling cruddy, it has been annoying me and angering me more than it usually would.

It’s got me wondering why people feel the need to just spew hate.  I’m not talking about anger – anger can be useful and when expressed properly is not offensive or hateful.  What I’m talking about are the hate statements that often go with anger.

You know, someone is pissed off, so they say something like  “That fat bitch!” or “That ugly bastard.” or “You’re so gay!”  They hate on something that has absolutely no relevance to their anger, ie someone’s weight, sexuality, appearance, gender, colour, etc.

My pet hate is when people describe something bad as being “gay”.  That makes my blood boil!

I came to the realisation some time ago that these kind of things help nobody.  They don’t help me, and of course they certainly don’t help anyone else.

What they do show is a lack of ability to express oneself.  When people can’t think of anything specific to say, they hate on the incidentals like weight, appearance, gender, colour, sexuality etc.

A few nights ago I spotted a tweet from a woman that I was following on Twitter that was something like “This band is SOOO fat!  And SOOO gross.”  I was completely baffled at why an otherwise intelligent woman would just resort to such a cheap shot.  I didn’t stick around to find out though, that’s the beauty of Twitter, an unfollow is an easy thing.

What it really boils down to is that commenting  on or insulting a person’s appearance, abilities or gender is offensive.  Someone has made you angry?  Then complain all you like about their behaviour or their attitudes, but leave the cheap shots out of it.  It’s childish and pathetic.

I don’t know though – I wish I had some answers on how to stop people just hating all the time.  I know I’m working very hard on letting go of any negativity, that includes when people hurt me, I want to address their behaviour or attitudes, not who or what they are.  I wish I knew how to challenge meanness and hate, but I’m at a bit of a loss.

How do you do it?

7 comments on “Challenging the Cheap Shot

  • When people (IDIOTS) use the term gay to express their dislike of something, it makes my blood boil too. Not only is it hideously offensive to gay people, it doesn’t even make sense! In my previous incarnation as a chickenwench, surrounded by considerably younger than I crewmembers, I had a few little chats with them about their usage of gay as a derogatory term, explaining it’s offensiveness to the gay community and to myself as well. Given a reasonable proportion of the staff and management were in fact openly gay or bi-sexual, it would be fair to hope for a little thought before uttering a commonly used, but potentially very offensive phrase.
    And Kath, we all have days where the little niggly stuff seems like it’s all a massive deal. This too will pass!

  • The sad, but true, answer is that hate is unstoppable. It’s like a drug. As Frank Sinatra once said, “Some people get their kicks stomping on a dream.”

    I think we’ve seen a lot of that on the Fatosphere lately. Some people thrive on anger and they intentionally seek out forums in which they can express that.

    And we’re just a microcosm of society.

    What to do about it?

    Another quote for you by Aldous Huxley: “There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”


  • I would venture so far as to say it’s not even a cheap shot but a completely nonsensical shot and utterly unrelated to what someone is trying to express. I think it’s sympomatic of a very large proportion of the population completely unable to articulate themselves clearly. This part of the population lack the ability, the creativity, the grammar and the vocabulary to succinctly and clearly express themselves and they resort to ignorant, insulting and lame shots to somehow convey themselves using demeaning, hateful and nasty words.
    How to combat it – I have no idea – yell back that’s original – give me another word for fat ’cause i am bored with that one, i am lucky i am deaf so i don’t hear a 1/3 of the rubbish people spew out at me.

  • Thank you all. It’s so pervasive, and sometimes it just gets through with the irritation and annoyance, you know. And makes me ANGRY. I am glad to say that I second guess the cheap shot pretty much every time now. I know I once used to do it myself, when I was younger and stupider.

    On a side note, I am LOVING WordPress… it’s so good to be able to simply spamify the trolls!

    • Man, now you’re tempting me to move. I really like the setup I’ve created, but I hate the comment structure. Dammit, I don’t wanna move!


      • It’s very easy to import other blogs in over here, though some of the widgets and stuff are taking some tinkering.

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